Firearm Instructor Certification

Regardless of the certification process or the agency that puts forth certification programs, we have noticed a trend – none of those organizations go into the “nuts and bolts” of running a successful firearm training business. Instead, they concentrate on how to teach the “basics” of safe firearm handling to their instructors.

“Basic” firearm training is essential for beginning students to master. It is the core training that must be taught. Before a student can master the necessary skills for shooting accurately, they must learn the five fundamentals of shooting: Aiming, Breath Control, Trigger Control, Grip Control, and Follow-through. There are plenty of training materials, books, blog sites and other resources for this information.

The Firearms Training Business

This blog is about business. Knowing how to address the many challenges and requirements that are needed to run a successful firearm training business.

What’s the difference between a hobby and a business? A “hobby” allows you to dream. It allows you to set unrealistic expectations and goals. On the other hand, a “business” requires work, real work, in order for it to pay off. A certification in firearms training does not make someone a business owner, nor does it make them a good instructor. There are far too many “paper” instructors in this industry. “Paper Instructors” are those who receive a firearm instructor certification simply because their “trainer” passed them to make a “quick buck”. It’s an unregulated business and there are not many ways to “police” this type of certification process.

NRA Basics of Instructor Training (BIT)

The closest attempt we have seen teaching the business aspect is with the National Rifle Association’s “Basic Instructor Training” or “BIT” course for short. The BIT course is required before attending an instructor discipline course. The BIT course is very useful for those who have never taught or who need to be reminded of the basics of teaching new students. Its focus is to teach how to teach civilians; not how to run a “military” training style course.

Firearm Business Instruction

There is a section in the course where instructor candidates create a budget worksheet for a basic class. Unfortunately, instructor candidates don’t have the time to fully understand the importance of the exercise. This is as close to reality as you will receive when it comes to planning a class.

Unfortunately, this section on teaching this class is covered in less than an hour for this lesson. There are some additional items in the BIT material that addresses business such as publicity and press releases – none of which is taught. It is up to the instructor candidate to read those sections on their own.

Purpose of Blog

The purpose of this blog is to offer firearm instructors a resource for ideas, how to manage their business, and to share knowledge from other leaders in the industry.

This blog will cover the general processes for establishing a business, day-to-day operations, and additional ideas and suggestions as they become relevant. It will apply in a very broad sense to all 50 states.

Lesson Plans

Readers are cautioned there may be additional aspects of business operations to consider. What works in one state may not work in another. We suggest you research and consult an attorney before you implement a procedure or policy.

We will offer Lesson Plans that we have written that have been accepted by the state in the past. We cannot guarantee those lesson plans will be accepted because “standards” change. We will work with you (for a fee) to ensure your lesson plan is accepted by your state. We will work with you to become compliant with your state requirements.

David M. Streb
Managing Partner

Level 1 Firearms Training, LLC

See Also: Acknowledgements

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